[NFBWATlk] Contact legislators about supporting Accessible Prescription Label bill, Committee hearing this Friday

Marci Carpenter mjc59 at comcast.net
Thu Feb 17 01:36:28 UTC 2022


HB 1852 is a bill in the Washington state legislature which contains language requiring that prescription container labels be provided in accessible formats for blind, low vision and print disabled people. It passed the House last week. The Senate companion bill, SB 5840 has a hearing this Friday morning at 8 AM in the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee. We need as many members as possible to register in support of the bill. In the Committee information the bill is listed as ESHB 1852.

The main part of the bill is about providing prescription labels in other languages for non-English speaking people. There is now an amendment which says:
By July 1, 2024, the Commission shall adopt rules establishing other accessibility requirements for individuals who are blind, low vision or otherwise print disabled for prescription drug labels and prescription information
The commission the bill refers to is the Washington state Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission.

You can submit comments on the bill or provide written testimony to the Committee. To comment on the bill go to https://app.leg.wa.gov/pbc/bill/5840 <https://app.leg.wa.gov/pbc/bill/5840>.  Here you can comment on the bill and have that comment sent to your legislators. First you must enter your address (no abbreviations and no  apartment numbers). Your legislative district will be verified and you can then register your support of the bill and send comments. The comment section has a 1,000 word limit.

To submit written testimony which is sent to committee members and committee staff go to https://app.leg.wa.gov/csi/Testifier/Add?chamber=Senate&mId=29811&aId=146431&caId=19533&tId=4 <https://app.leg.wa.gov/csi/Testifier/Add?chamber=Senate&mId=29811&aId=146431&caId=19533&tId=4>. Written testimony can be submitted before the hearing or within 24 hours after the hearing.

If you want to read the entire Engrossed Substitue bill you can find it at this link; https://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2021-22/Pdf/Bills/House%20Bills/1852-S.E.pdf?q=20220216172308 <https://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2021-22/Pdf/Bills/House%20Bills/1852-S.E.pdf?q=20220216172308>.

Tips for comments and written testimony
Say the you support ESHB 1852 because..
We need prescription label information in a format that we can read independently.
If you have a personal story (or know a blind person who does) about taking the wrong prescription because there was not an accessible label, tell that story briefly.

As you can tell from the amendment language above there are no details about providing labels in audio, braille or large print. The details on this and other issues will be worked out in the rule making process. We will definitely make our voices heard in that process. We are focusing now on getting this bill passed by the Senate Health and Long Term care Committee and then by the entire Senate. The bill, with the amendment on accessible labels, has already passed the state House.

Again, the committee hearing is this Friday, February 18, at 9 AM. 

Thank you for helping to pass this important legislation.

Marci Carpenter, President
National Federation of the Blind of Washington
mjc559 at comcast.net

More information about the NFBWATlk mailing list